Apostleship Of The Sea
The Seafarers' Mission at Immingham Docks is one of our most regular charities, having been Charity of the year in 2015 following its reopening following the tidal surge on 5 December 2013. Fr Colum or one of the Assistant Port Chaplains comes for one of our meetings and takes back a load of warm clothing, toiletries and treats for the Seafarers who are often continuously on board for periods of around 8 months.
Ascent Visit to Immingham Docks
The Hallam Ascent Group spent a day at Immingham Docks where we were greeted by Father Colum Kelly who is the only full-time priest chaplain of the Apostleship of the Sea. Together with the Mission to Seamen, the Anglican equivalent, they run the Immingham Seafarers Centre which provides a safe haven for visiting seafarers.
Contrary to popular opinion, ships do not spend days in harbour whilst they unload and then load their new cargoes. They are in port for as short a time as possible, often only hours before they are off on the high seas again. Harbour charges are a big influence, and as Immingham is the biggest port in the UK with eight miles of docks, seafarers don’t have much spare time ashore. The centre has a minibus to ferry them to the centre where they can relax in the bar, do some shopping, go to the library and phone, email or Skype their family and friends. Like people in the military, they spend long periods away from their families, but whilst they are at sea they remain totally out of contact and with dangers from the weather as well as piracy in many parts of the world it is a worrying time for them. There were crews from Britain, Russia, China, Poland and the Philippines in port at the time we were there.
Father Colum gave a slide show about the work of the port and led us in a reflection on the type of ship we think ourselves as being and on dealing with the cargo each of us were carrying. Then we were taken on a tour round the docks. We understand from politicians and businessmen that exports are vital to the British economy, but the only thing that is exported from Immingham is scrap metal which goes mainly to Turkey or India. Oil, coal, loaded containers and cars are the main products imported.
The visit, just before the annual Sea Sunday collection, was a valuable reminder of just how much we owe the quality of our lives to the challenging and dangerous work of our seafarers.
St Wilfrid's Centre
The nominated charity in 2014 was the renowned St Wilfrid's Centre in Sheffield which provides a welcome to many disadvantaged people in Sheffield. They recently completed a residential centre which was built close to the existing centre so that residents will be able to be supported whilst they learn to live independently - many for the very first time.
St Luke's Hospice
Our charity in 2013 was our local hospice which was building an extension. On Ash Wednesday, we held a soup and cheese lunch following the 12.00 Noon Mass to support the charity, and we had a Cream Tea to raise further funds.
Theresa Codd, Assistant Director of Survive-Miva, has come to Sheffield to speak to us on two occasions, the last at the end of 2016 as it was going to be our Charity of the Year in 2017, and asked us to choose which projects we would choose to support based on their careful selection procedure. They provide various modes of transport to those working in the field in the poorest parts of the world.
On the back page of their 50th edition of Awareness the headline is the End of The Road?
Unless you have been to Africa or somewhere poor, you will not have experienced the end of the road – where the decent road surface ends and you go onto dirt roads which, at best, are rather rough and dusty but usually have deep potholes which get wet deep and slippery in the wet season. We have lost hub caps on that sort of road whilst we have been shaken and stirred!
Take that environment into Asia and they face the monsoon that fills a bucket in four minutes, of mud that is 6 inches (150 mm deep), that plants that grow so quickly that a track can be obliterated overnight. Mountains with gradients of one in one or perhaps one in two with no stretch of level going longer than 100 yards. CAFOD ran projects in Burma during 2015. In Brazil in the Amazon Jungle the main transport is along the river - so here boats are on the request list.
Travel becomes very difficult in places like that where those whom Survive-Miva help operate, so let us pray for the priests and religious who face them every day as they take the sacraments, health and education services across long distances.
Those two charities are some of the small national charities we, and individual Ascent members support, but we also support and raise funds for Diocesan charities as well. I'll add some details of those later.
The Sylvia Wright Trust
Syvia Wright is a dynamic Yorkshire woman who disposed of all her worldly goods and went to India to use her skills and experience as a nurse, midwife, health visitor and lecturer together with her enormous spiritual strength to help people in one of the poorest parts of India.
She started with a mobile clinic, and in 1985 she acquired her first hospital. In 1996 she built a school for deaf children and in 1999 opened the Vocational Training Centre. She opened a new hospital in 2002.
The Trust exists solely to raise the funds necessary to make her work possible. It provides all the running costs for the School for the Deaf and the Vocational Training Centre. It contributes 45% towards the running costs of the hospital; the rest being raised by very modest charges to the patients. It provides all the capital costs for the Hospital, School and Vocational Training Centre. 96% of all funds raised go to India.
The Syvia Wright Trust aims to provide better health, education and training forr poor and disabled people in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu District, South India where
- Family incomes average less than £1 per day, and several generations live in one house.
- Because there is no welfare state and there are few doctors, hospitals and clinics, illness and disease often go untreated.
- Employment opportunities are almost non existent for people with disabilities, unless they have a particular skill.
- There are big problems of deafness, particularly in children.
Your support provides:
- A 200 bed hospital (new in 2002)
- Clinics and health advice, including Ante-Natal and Child Welfare Clinics.
- Affordable medication for the local people.
- A school for up to 250 deaf children.
- A Vocational Training Centre to give practical skills and career prospects to those children when they finish their schooling.
- In 2011 the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing was opened, which will eventually have 20 students in each group starting a four year course.
Page updated on 30th December 2019